How to Balance Exercise and Sleep

balance exercise and sleep

How to Balance Exercise and Sleep

Biking, jogging, lifting weights, dancing, or aerobics---these are just some of the many ways people exercise to stay fit. However, exercising regularly isn’t enough; in fact, too much exercising can be harmful. In addition to a balanced diet, you need to pair hard exercise with adequate sleep. Meanwhile, the way to balance exercise and sleep is sleeping at least 8 hours, as needed by a healthy adult.

Now, you may wonder why sleep is so important; after all, you’re just lying there and relaxing. Well, it’s pretty simple. As you sleep, your body becomes incredibly active repairing itself from all the stresses, injuries, and damages it incurred while you’re awake.

For example, no matter how much a bodybuilder works out, his muscles wouldn’t bulk up if he has inadequate sleep. That’s because it’s during his sleep when his sore muscles heal. And because the body doesn’t want to injure itself again, it adds another layer of muscles to reinforce the existing muscles. This layering is what builds big, impressive muscles.

As you can see, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise. Insufficient sleep can hamper athletic performance.

Equalizing Sleep and Exercise

How do you find an ideal balance of exercising and sleeping to achieve optimal health? Here are a few pointers:

Pick the best mattress

There’s no doubt that getting the perfect mattress for a good night’s sleep is incredibly important. Much of the quality of your sleep depends on your mattress. A comfortable bed gives you the best relaxing and reinvigorating sleep each night, while a bad one leaves you with interrupted sleep, body pains, and a bad disposition upon waking up.

Each brand usually has its own mattress picking guide. Use these guides to help you pick the best mattress for you.

Exercise several hours before bedtime

Exercising can cause exhaustion, allowing you to fall asleep quicker and attain a better quality of sleep. However, you shouldn’t do heavy exercises too late at night. Doing so increases your body temperature, and the adrenaline gives your mind a certain “high.” These two factors prevent you from falling asleep.

As a rule of thumb, you should do your exercise sessions 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. This gives your body time to cool down and get ready for sleeping.

Stick to an exercise-sleep routine

Your body is naturally wired to “remember” routines. As thus, follow and stick to a routine. For example, you may want to head off to the gym an hour or two after mid-day so you can sleep early at 9 PM. If that works for you, stick to that routine every day. You’ll feel reinvigorated after lunch and begin to feel drowsy as 9 PM draws near.

Exercise in the morning

Fitness experts suggest that you perform your exercises as part of your morning routine. Doing so boosts your energy level and alertness. You’ll be productive all throughout the day. At the end of the day, you’ll probably feel exhausted, ready to hit the bed for some sweet sleep. 

Turn electronics off

Do you always look at your gadgets to check your next day’s exercise program, how far you ran today, how many calories you burned, and so on? Switch them off. Too much exposure to artificial light from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TV inhibits the natural release of melatonin. Melatonin is the primary hormone that regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Less melatonin means it’s harder for you to fall asleep.

Switch off your gadgets or TV half an hour to 45 minutes before bedtime. Rather than using light-emitting devices, read something such as a fitness magazine, an athletic journal, or a novel.

Eat a light meal a few hours before bed

Many people forego eating after dinner or even skipping dinner entirely, believing that doing so increases their weight. However, recent studies show that ingesting nutritious food (especially protein-packed food) before bedtime is actually healthy. The protein is synthesized during sleep and helps build muscles more effectively.

Listen to your body

Your body has an innate way of telling you what it needs. Thus, always consider what you feel. For example, if you feel unusually lethargic even though you’re supposed to work out in the gym at a particular time, then obey your body and have a rest. Perhaps you were not adequately rested last night. Perhaps you worked out too intensely during the past few days, and your body wants to take a break. 

Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before bedtime

Some people chug some beer or wine before sleeping to feel drowsy. While it often works, health experts dissuade people to do this. For one, alcohol hampers muscle growth and decreases testosterone levels. Two, alcohol can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.  Three, alcohol dehydrates you as it metabolizes alcohol.

All these internal activities interrupt your sleep, causing you to wake up in the morning tired, irritable, and perhaps suffering from a hangover.

Take the right medicines

If you are a particularly active individual, you might have trouble sleeping. Visit your doctor and see if he can recommend some sleep aids. Melatonin, antihistamine, Ambien, and other doctor-prescribed sleep medication are generally effective in the short-term. Note, however, that in the long term, they can be habit-forming.

Get out of bed

If all else fails, don’t twist and turn on your mattress all night long. The energy you use in trying to sleep may actually be preventing you from drifting into unconsciousness. Instead, get off your bed and do something that relaxes you---reading a book, working on a scale model, or some other quiet activity to help you calm down. Try not to think too much of things and situations that keep you stressed.

Conclusion

A good, healthy life revolves around balance. Too much of everything, even a good thing such as exercise, can be detrimental to your health and well-being. As such, it’s important to compensate for your hard work with a good quality of rest.

From picking the perfect mattress for a good night's sleep to sticking to getting off from bed to ward off stressful thoughts, these tips should help you snooze tight each night so your body can rejuvenate itself.

Guest Author’s Bio

brett armstron
Brett is a writer at ID-MAG. An enthusiast and expert when it comes to sleep products, Brett dedicates a lot of his time reading, researching, and reviewing about both traditional and emerging sleep brands that manufacture varied types of sleep products – from eco-mattresses, smart pillows to cooling sleep systems, Brett has probably reviewed them all. Brett also finds sleep especially important since he juggles a small business which he runs from home, makes sure he spends time with his daughter and he also writes during his spare time – you can definitely see that he needs a great forty winks all night, every night so he’ll make sure that you get great sleep, too!

Top Reasons Why Sleep is Most Important Factor for a Better Body

Top Reasons Why Sleep is Most Important Factor for a Better Body

Getting a proper night’s sleep consistently can easily be called as the single most important things as far as maintaining the right shape of your body is concerned. No matter how diligently you stick to your diet or exercise schedule, if you are missing out on a good sleep quality, you will fail to achieve the kind of body you are trying to build for yourself. A good sleep health can in turn make the process of losing weight much easier by increasing the effectiveness of your work out and diet. We will therefore be looking at all the reasons why sleep is quintessential for a better body by evaluating the relation between proper sleeping and weight gain and why does your body need sleep.

1 Brain Function

A key factor in good overall sleep and weight loss is the way your brain functions. Although it may not look like it, your brain function has a lot to do with the way your body is processing your diet and exercising. A good sleep helps you maintain good mental functioning which in turn increases the efficiency of your work out. Different stages of sleep help in crucial aspects of the brain such as memory consolidation, cognition, mood, productivity, concentration, and mood boost. This not only helps in increasing the athletic performance of the body but also reduces the risk of injuries and accidents.

2 Muscle Repair and Immunity

The restorative qualities of sleep such as muscle repair helps people participate in physical activities that put extra strain on the muscles. Additionally, better rested individuals experience better motivation and can easily channel energy bursts from their body. This is why players are often advised by their trainers to have a good night’s sleep before a big event. Even non-athletic individuals can easily perform their work out sessions with ease without putting too much stress on their body muscles and heart. People who have a good sleep health are also more likely to have a good immune function and they are better equipped to fight with infections that cause illnesses.

3 Weight Loss

Before trying to understand how does sleeping help you lose weight and how does sleep burn fat, let’s look at a couple of studies related to the subject. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information that was trying to find a link between sleeping and weight gain established that poor sleep is responsible for lack of proper regulation of glucose in the body. It also said that insufficient sleep was linked with decreased insulin sensitivity and a heightened risk of obesity. Such individuals are therefore at a marked risk of experiencing conditions like type 2 diabetes. The researchers pointed at the mark similarity in the growing trend of obesity and poor sleep health which are almost running parallel to each other.

Another study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal monitored several participants suffering with obesity who were made to sleep in either a period of 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours for a span of 2 weeks. The researchers looking at the relation between weight loss and sleeping found that the people who slept for about 5.5 hours every night actually lost their muscle mass. Whereas the participants in the second set lost 55 percent more body fat. 

4 Appetite

Numerous similar studies in the past have established the link between quality sleep and weight loss. Researchers have also pointed at the abnormal levels of hormones that control hunger in the body, known as leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep decreases the levels of leptin which suppresses the appetite in your body and increases that of ghrelin which is responsible for a heightened appetite. This makes it harder for sleep-deprived people to stay in a good shape because of the constant craving of food that they experience due to hormonal imbalance. Not only does this increase your appetite for unhealthy food but also reduce your motivation of working out.

5 Stress

This in a way triggers a cycle which increases your cortisol levels that are responsible for regulating stress in your body. Increased stress in turn makes it further hard to fall asleep and you find it extremely hard to come out of the cycle once you are in it. What’s worse is that people can experience conditions like stress eating at times like these, particularly sugary and fatty foods. Such a condition forces an individual to keep eating even when they are not actually hungry as this is just a way of the body responding to increases emotion levels. Lack of sleep makes it harder for the insular cortex in the brain to deal with such an issue, so much so that at times sleep-deprived individuals can’t even tell the difference between food that is fresh and that which is rotten.

Bottom line

So, the answer to questions like “does sleeping help you lose weight?” and “does sleep burn fat?” is “yes, it does!” However, studies have shown that insufficient amount of sleep can reduce the amount of weight lost as fat but increase the amount of weight lost as body mass. To make sure that you do not miss out on achieving a good night’s sleep consistently, try following these easy steps when facing problem falling asleep. You may also want to invest in a good mattress and an equally suitable mattress topper that you need for sleeping comfortably. Check out some of the best feather mattress topper reviews from this year.

In conclusion, we would like to state that all it takes is the right amount of sleep along with your diet and exercise to help maintain the balance between weight loss and sleeping. We hope that the facts mentioned above help you better understand why does your body need sleep to achieve the kind of body you are aiming for.

How Restful Sleep is Good for Your Heart

How Restful Sleep is Good for Your Heart

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of adults in the United States don’t get the right amount of restful sleep.

Also, according to the CDC, numerous studies have linked not getting enough restful sleep with an increased risk of heart problems. In fact, not getting enough sound sleep results in problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

Restful Sleep Duration Study - European Heart Journal

Now, the 2011 European Heart Journal reviewed 15 medical studies involving about 475,000 people.

Short Sleepers

First and foremost, short sleepers are those who sleep less than six hours a night. Above all, short sleepers may be prone to risk factors resulting in either coronary heart disease or stroke. Indeed, 48 percent of short sleepers developed or died from coronary heart disease in a seven to 25-year follow-up period.

Also, 15 percent of short sleepers developed or died from stroke during this same time period.

Long Sleepers

Meanwhile, long sleepers, averaged nine or more hours of sleep a night. Also, long sleepers may be prone to risk factors resulting in either coronary heart disease or stroke. Indeed, 38 percent of long sleepers developed or died from coronary heart disease in a seven to 25-year follow-up period.

Lastly, 65 percent of long sleepers developed or died from stroke during this same time period.

Restful Sleep Study - European Society of Cardiology

Next, a study at the 2018 European Society of Cardiology conference reported best durations for restful sleep. In fact, the most beneficial sleep durations, for a healthy heart, were six to eight hours of sleep a night. Indeed, anything more than eight or less than six hours is detrimental to the health of your heart. Moreover, both short and long sleepers had a greater risk of developing or dying from coronary artery disease or stroke.

Restful Sleep Study - American College of Cardiology

Meanwhile, a Journal of the American College of Cardiology study reported on the benefits of getting adequate restful sleep. Indeed, the study reported that anyone can mitigate risks of heart attack by sleeping between six to nine hours. Moreover, that includes people who have a genetic predisposition to heart disease.

Now, this study looked at people between the ages of 40 to 69 who never had a heart attack. Indeed, the study found those sleeping less than six hours were 20 percent more likely to have a heart attack. While, those sleeping more than nine hours had a 34 percent greater chance of experiencing a heart attack. Incidentally, on average, the further people fell outside the six to nine-hour duration, the greater their risk of heart attack.

In addition, the National Sleep Foundation, reported on the effects of sleep duration on stroke and heart attack. Indeed, adults sleeping less than 6 hours have almost twice the risk as those sleeping 7 to 8 hours.

Effects of Inadequate Restful Sleep on the Heart

Study

Now, new research was conducted, at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, Spain. And, their results were recently reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In this study, coronary 3D heart ultrasound and cardiac CT scans tracked arteries of 3,974 Spanish adult bank employees. Incidentally, at the start of the study, these adults, of average age 46, did not have heart disease. Also, two-thirds of the adults were men.

Results

Above all, research showed that the odds of accumulating fatty plaque in arteries increased with inadequate amounts of restful sleep. Moreover, fatty plaque increased significantly when lack of restful sleep was chronic. By the way, atherosclerosis is the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries. Also, this accumulation of fatty plaque narrows the arteries and makes them stiffer. Regrettably, atherosclerosis increases the odds of getting a heart attack or stroke.

Next, researchers compared adults sleeping less than six hours a night with those sleeping seven to eight hours. And, they found those sleeping less than six hours were 27 percent more likely to have body-wide atherosclerosis. Strangely enough, the study found women sleeping more than eight hours a night also had increased risk of body-wide atherosclerosis.

Furthermore, researchers compared adults who woke up frequently or had difficulty falling asleep with those who slept well. And, they found adults who didn’t sleep well were 34 percent more likely to have body-wide atherosclerosis.

Incidentally, adults who had six hours of good quality sleep fared better because the quality of their sleep was good. By the way, good quality referred to how often a person woke up during the night. Also, good quality considered how frequently a person moved during sleep.

Above all, the study showed the importance of getting seven to eight hours of good sleep for your cardiovascular health. And, the heavy price paid, on their cardiovascular health, by poor quality sleepers or those chronically deprived of restful sleep.

Meanwhile, previous studies reported that lack of sleep increased heart disease risk factors. For example, risk factors such as glucose levels, blood pressure, inflammation, and obesity.

Atherosclerosis

Now, as described above, not getting enough restful sleep increases the odds of accumulating fatty plaque in arteries. By the way, atherosclerosis is the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.

So, to better understand atherosclerosis, the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital studied mice genetically engineered to develop atherosclerosis.

Therefore, half the mice had their sleep cycles repeatedly disrupted. While, the other half slept normally. Meanwhile, after 16 weeks, the sleep-disrupted mice had greater arterial plaques than the mice who slept normally. By the way, the study in Spain also reported more arterial plaque in the sleep deprived.

Furthermore, the sleep-deprived mice had twice the level of certain white blood cells than the non-sleep deprived mice. Also, the sleep-deprived mice had lower amounts of the hormone hypocretin.

Incidentally, the brain regulates sleep and wake states by producing the hormone hypocretin. Meanwhile, experiments showed that hypocretin suppressed production of stem cells that make white blood cells in their bone marrow. Therefore, falling hypocretin levels results in production of more white blood cells.

So, sleep-deficient mice that received hypocretin supplements tended to produce fewer immune or white blood cells. Consequently, they developed smaller artery wall plaques than mice that weren’t given the hypocretin supplementation. Therefore, these results suggest that hypocretin loss during disrupted sleep contributes to inflammation and atherosclerosis.

In summary, the brain of the sleep deprived likely cuts back on the production of their hypocretin hormone. Which, in turn, increases plaque in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis.

Infrequent Versus Chronic Sleep Problems

In general, according to health experts, short-term sleep issues won’t do much harm. However, chronic, continuous sleep disturbances can lead to serious heart issues and make existing heart problems worse. Incidentally, about six percent of the US population has chronic insomnia. Also, chronic or frequent, sleep disturbances, can lead to serious heart issues or make existing heart problems worse.

In fact, those who struggle with getting restful sleep on a regular basis should speak with a sleep expert. Finally, good sleeping habits also help you avoid other problems associated with sleep deprivation.

Insomnia

Finally, a meta-analysis demonstrated that frequent insomnia was associated with increased risk of future heart attack and stroke. By the way, symptoms of insomnia included difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining restful sleep, and non-restorative sleep.

Now, as many as one in two adults experience short-term insomnia at some point. On the other hand, nearly 1 in 10 may have long-lasting insomnia.

Most of all, insomnia can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Also, over time, poor sleep can lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart. For example, these bad habits include high stress levels, little motivation to be physically active, or having unhealthy food choices.

Best Orthopedic Pillows To Be Free Of Back Pain

Best Orthopedic Pillows to be Free of Back Pain

An orthopedic pillow by providing proper support to the spine helps fight spinal degeneration and other spinal disorders such as spondylosis and arthritis. Most of all, orthopedic pillows, such as the cervical neck pillow or the contour neck pillows, help you sleep well and wake up with, hopefully, no back pain. Moreover, orthopedic pillows, like the contour neck pillows, are also sometimes referred to as therapeutic pillows.

Do Sleeping Positions Change?

Especially relevant, observational studies show that adults change their sleeping position an average of 11 to 13 times during the night.

Indeed, a majority of sleep time is in the side sleeping position. However, adults only spend 59 to 73 percent of their sleep time in the side lying position. Consequently, 27 to 41 percent of sleep time is in the back position.

Therefore, choosing a pillow specifically designed for side sleepers may not work when you sleep on your back and vice versa. In fact, a side sleeping pillow may cause problems for those who change positions during the night and sleep on their backs. Similarly, a back sleeping pillow may cause problems for those who change to sleeping on their sides.

Therefore, if you do get a pillow designed for only side sleepers, first verify that you always sleep in that position all night long. Ultimately, a good pillow should allow the free motion of sleeping position changes during the night.

Most noteworthy, there are many factors that influence the number of sleep position changes during sleep. Some of these factors include:

  1. 1
    First, not feeling well
  2. 2
    Next, sleep apnea
  3. 3
    Also, drinking caffeine and/or eating heavy meals before bed
  4. 4
    In addition, alcohol initially decreases sleeping position changes. However, sleeping position changes increase later in the night.
  5. 5
    Next, dreams
  6. 6
    Also, uncomfortable beds
  7. 7
    In addition, room temperatures that are either too low or too high
  8. 8
    Next, sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings
  9. 9
    Also, noise permeating into the sleeping area
  10. 10
    Finally, anxiety and stress

What are Orthopedic Pillows for the Neck?

Most of all, orthopedic pillows such as cervical neck pillows are used to:

  1. 1
    First, prevent cervical hypolordosis. In fact, hypolordosis is a condition where the curvature of the spine is less than normal.
  2. 2
    Next, relieve cervical spasms
  3. 3
    Also, remove minor tensions or strains
  4. 4
    Finally, maintain or resume the natural cervical lordotic curve while at rest

Benefits and Use of Cervical Neck Pillows

Most of all, by providing proper neck support, cervical neck pillows help with:

  1. 1
    Tension headaches
  2. 2
    Neck muscle and joint strains and sprains
  3. 3
    Morning hand stiffness and swelling
  4. 4
    Stiffness
  5. 5
    Snoring
  6. 6
    Arthritis
  7. 7
    Temporomandibular disorders
  8. 8
    Whiplash injuries

Features of Cervical Neck Pillows

Traditional pillows work fine at first, but then they flatten out and stop providing support for the head and neck. On the other hand, a cervical neck pillow provides support and comfort to the neck and head. Most noteworthy, the cervical neck pillow’s contour and it’s content provides support and comfort. In fact, a pillow that is lacking in these features may end up causing increased pain, discomfort, pressure, headaches, or simply a loss of sleep. For example, a pillow that has the wrong contour and/or made from low quality material may be too hard, create heat, has allergens, or can harbor microbes or dust mites. By the way, if dust mites are a problem in your bedroom, its good to filter the air in your bedroom and vacuum the floor, especially if the floor is carpeted.

Most of all a cervical neck pillow:

  1. 1
    First, properly support the neck
  2. 2
    Second, should lift and support the head
  3. 3
    Next, should be made of non-toxic foam that is certified to not emit any harmful gases
  4. 4
    Also, should be resistant to dust mites
  5. 5
    Next, should be antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  6. 6
    Finally, should not contain any metals, toxins or flame retardants

In conclusion, an ideal cervical neck pillow keeps your body in a neutral sleeping position. Indeed, this neutral sleeping position keeps your back and neck in their ideal position. As a result, there is no unnecessary pressure on the spine’s discs, muscles and nerves.

Back Sleeper Needs for Neck Orthopedic Pillows

For a back sleeper, a cervical pillow must have the right height. In fact, if it’s too high, the pillow will push the head forward. And, if it’s too low, the head will be too low and not in alignment with the spine.

Side Sleeper Needs for Neck Orthopedic Pillows

For side sleepers, the orthopedic pillows should have the right height to main alignment with the spine. Not too low nor too high.

Stomach Sleeper Needs for Neck Orthopedic Pillows

Sleeping on your stomach is tough on your spine, because the back has an excessive arc and the neck is turned to the side. Stomach sleeping places too much strain on neck joints and muscles. Consequently, a very low height pillow or even no pillow is best. Most of all, it is important not to use a firm or higher height pillow, especially with a soft mattress.

The best pillow for stomach sleepers is a cervical pillow for stomach sleepers in that it is designed for that purpose along with options for back and side sleeping. In fact, the cervical pillow allows stomach sleeping with a better cervical posture, reducing rotational and extensional damage that can cause neck problems, as well as providing better air flow. In addition, the cervical pillow is a very versatile pillow in that you can use it for any sleeping position, making it the ideal pillow to transition from stomach to side and back sleeping.

Meanwhile, preferred sleeping positions are often set early in life and can be tough to change, not to mention that we don't often wake up in the same position in which we fell asleep. Still, it's worth trying to start sleeping on your back or side in a well-supported, healthy position.

Finally, placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment.

What is the Best Sleeping Position for Cervical Pain?

Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck, on your side or on your back. If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded pillow to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head. This can be achieved by tucking a small neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter, softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with an indentation for the head to rest in. Here are some additional tips for side-sleepers and back-sleepers.

  1. 1
    First, try using a feather pillow, which easily conforms to the shape of the neck. Regrettably, feather pillows will collapse over time, however, and should be replaced every year or so.
  2. 2
    Also, another option is a traditionally shaped pillow with "memory foam" that conforms to the contour of your head and neck. In addition, some cervical pillows are also made with memory foam. Lastly, manufacturers of memory-foam pillows claim they help foster proper spinal alignment.
  3. 3
    Next, avoid using too high or stiff pillow, which keeps the neck flexed overnight and can result in morning pain and stiffness
  4. 4
    Finally, if you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head

Getting the Right Orthopedic Pillow

Above all, most reputable pillow companies do not allow returns due to Federal and State Health Regulations regarding bedding or contaminable items.

Also, companies offering money back guarantees are usually selling very cheap pillows. In fact, there has been a flood of very cheap pillows. Meanwhile, companies usually do not make it easy to return pillows. In theory, companies should dispose of returned pillows and not repackage and re-sell. In fact, many companies play the odds that, even if you don’t like it, you will not go through the trouble of returning the pillow.

There are usually multiple conditions and factors related to neck pain. Therefore, it is usually best to find a pillow that suits your particular sleeping conditions and comfort requirements. In general, softer – more accommodating pillows are recommended for more painful conditions such as from injury or inflammation. Once past this point, a firmer pillow can be used if well tolerated.

Especially relevant, a transition phase from an accommodating pillow to a firmer or different design pillow can be challenging and should only be attempted when pain and discomfort levels are no longer tolerated by the existing cervical pillow.

Buckwheat Orthopedic Pillows

Pillows filled with buckwheat mold to the neck and upper shoulders. However, unless this orthopedic pillow is designed so the amount of buckwheat can be changed, the pillow may be too thick or too thin and won’t allow spinal alignment.

Moreover, high-quality buckwheat pillows always have a zipper. And this zipper helps you adjust the amount of buckwheat hulls in the pillow. As a result, you’re able to change the thickness of your pillow.

In addition, the irregular and hollow shaped buckwheat hulls create airspace inside the pillow. Consequently, buckwheat pillows are cool and dry. Finally, chemical fertilizers are rarely, if ever, used on buckwheat crops. Consequently, buckwheat hulls are free of many of these contaminants. However, buckwheat pillows tend to be noisy.

Contour Neck Orthopedic Pillows

You can purchase contour neck pillows made from memory foam. Moreover, these contour neck pillows have chemical properties that allow the contour neck pillow to mold to your body. Furthermore, after you get out of bed, the contour neck pillow returns to its original shape. Consequently, a contour neck pillow provides consistent support and help you prevent neck pain.

However, the foam in the contour neck pillow can sometimes build up heat depending on the temperature in your sleeping environment. Indeed, great alternatives are gel foam cooling contour neck pillows that use a cooler technology in soft memory foam to control and release the build-up of heat. Buckwheat Pillows are also a good option for keeping your head cooler in warmer environments if you like firm pillows.

Orthopedic Pillows with Separate Back & Side Sleeping Areas

It is important to know if you are aware of deliberately changing sleep positions while sleeping. Or, do you not wake up and unconsciously change sleep positions while sleeping. There are cervical pillows with multiple height areas. These cervical pillows are very popular. However, they do require deliberate positioning from the back area to the side area and from the side are to the back area.

The thing to keep in mind is that if you are asleep and unaware that you are changing positions a lot, you may find yourself waking in wrong areas of the pillow.

The idea for a multiple height pillow is good in that back sleeping requires a lower pillow height while side sleeping required a higher pillow height because of the shoulders. Indeed, multiple height pillows provide great support. By the way, the most popular of these is the so called “Orthopedic Pillow”. In fact, this pillow has soft angled transitions making it easy to change sleep positions. Also, this pillow is very good in that it can be measured to fit well and keeps a good posture for both side and back sleeping.

And, if you are a strict side sleeper, the so called “Side Sleeper Pillow” is an option that provides soft support and height for your shoulders, however, it is mainly for side sleeping.

On the other hand, if you are unaware of your changing sleeping positions, pillows with a continuous surface work well. Also, you may find that an adjustable pillow may help get better pillow height for different sleep positions. Next, there is the question of a pillow’s firmness - which is determined by the quality and quantity of material that can be adjusted.

Other Orthopedic Pillows for the Neck

Especially relevant, a soft memory foam orthopedic pillow is a great solution for more advanced degenerative conditions. Also, for adults and children, the so called “chiropractic pillow” gives you sizing options and a sound ergonomic design.

Next, the latex pillow uses high end Talalay processed latex and is very good for neck conditions, whereas the dunlop latex pillow tends to be bouncy. Furthermore, there are pillows that use zones that allow a traditional shaped pillow to function like a contour pillow. These memory foam pillows also have an option for natural infused aromatherapy like lavender and are a great combination of softness and firmness. Finally, these orthopedic pillows are also available in a special side sleeping version.

What are Orthopedic Pillows for the Lumbar Region?

First and foremost, the lumbar spine is part of your lower back. Furthermore, the spine curves in toward your belly and then back out toward the sacrum. And, in the sacrum your pelvis connects with the spine’s fused lower vertebrae.

Most of all, the purpose of these curves is proper weight distribution. Indeed, the lower vertebrae of your lumbar spine support the weight of your entire torso. Because of that, the lower vertebrae are prone to stress. For example, after years of wear and tear, the soft discs between your lower vertebrae can start to bulge. As a result, the soft discs put pressure on the nerves surrounding them. And this pressure can lead to symptoms including numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness.

Therefore, it’s essential to protect your back while you sleep. In fact, if you don’t have proper lumbar support, your hips and shoulders will sink into the bed and your natural spinal curve will be flattened out. In fact, sleeping on a bad mattress on a nightly basis can lead to lower back pain as well as early onset of arthritis or other symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.

Therefore, to better support your body, place an orthopedic pillow, like the lumbar pillow, under your pelvis and lumbar region.

Because the weight of their hips and belly pulls their lower spine down into the mattress, stomach-sleepers have the worst sleep position. Indeed, these sleepers are prone to lower back problems.

What are Orthopedic Pillows for the Knee?

First and foremost, a knee pillow is an orthopedic pillow meant only for side sleepers only. Indeed, sleeping on the side causes the upper leg to pull the spine out of alignment. Consequently, this puts stress on the hips and lower back. Therefore, if you are a side sleeper, use a firm pillow between the knees. In fact, this knee pillow, an orthopedic pillow, prevents the upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment. Also, don’t forget to pull your knees up slightly toward your chest. Finally, a knee pillow improves blood circulation in the legs.

Because of its ability to respond to heat, knee pillows use memory foam. As a result, when the room becomes colder, the knee pillow becomes firmer. On the other hand, when the room becomes warmer the knee pillow becomes softer.

In addition, a knee pillow made of memory foam automatically adjusts to the contour of your knees but reverts back to its original shape when you don’t use it. Meanwhile, a hypoallergenic knee pillow is free from common allergens.

For those who have osteoarthritis, an orthopedic pillow like the knee pillow is actually a knee pad that does not slip when you get up. It is often used to align the spine properly but also as a solution for pain in the knee from the osteoarthritis.

Next, inflatable knee pillows can be adjusted for firmness, don’t occupy too much space when packed, remove pressure on the knees, and provide support for the lower back and hips as well as reduce any pain associated with those areas.

Side and back sleepers suffering chronically from lower back pain use knee pillow bolsters. Usually around 27 inches long, this type of knee pillow enables you to move in bed without moving the knee pillow.

How to Find Pillow Thickness for Yourself?

One of the biggest challenges of ordering pillows online is figuring out the thickness or height of orthopedic pillows such as cervical pillows, lumbar pillows, and possibly knee pillows. Moreover, the thickness of the pillow has a huge impact on its effectiveness.

So, to get a rough idea of pillow height, stand against a wall in your favorite sleeping positions.

Side Sleepers Using Orthopedic Pillows

First and foremost, stand straight but perpendicular to the wall with your arms against the wall. Next measure the distance from your ears to the wall. This distance represents the thickness of the orthopedic pillow you need with your head resting on the pillow. Consequently, with a firmer orthopedic pillow, this distance is little less that the thickness of the pillow you need. On the other hand, a softer pillow would need to be thicker. Regrettably, the only way to know the thickness of a softer pillow is to try it. However, you do have the minimum thickness of the pillow.

Next, measure the distance of large gaps between your body and the wall. For example, if there is a gap between the hips and the wall, measure that distance. Consequently, to maintain a straight spine, a firm lumbar pillow of that thickness will keep your spine straight.

Next, measure the distance between the knees and the wall. When you lie in bed, the knees would towards the bed, which could cause stress on your hips. So, a pillow between the knees with thickness close to the measured distance will help minimize the stress.

Back Sleepers Using Orthopedic Pillows

First and foremost, stand straight against the wall with the wall behind you. Next measure the distance from the back of the head to the wall. This distance represents the thickness of the orthopedic pillow you need with your head resting on the pillow. Consequently, with a firmer orthopedic pillow, this distance is little less that the thickness of the pillow you need. On the other hand, a thicker softer pillow works. Regrettably, the only way to know the thickness of a softer pillow is to try it. However, you do now know the minimum thickness of the pillow.

Next, measure the distance of large gaps between your body and the wall. For example, if there is a gap between the hips and the wall, measure that distance. Consequently, to maintain a straight spine, a firm lumbar pillow of that thickness keeps your spine straight.

Stomach Sleepers Using Orthopedic Pillows

First and foremost, stand straight against the wall with the wall in front of you. Next, if your head is the only part touching the wall, measure the distance from the wall to the hips. Consequently, to maintain a straight spine, a firm lumbar pillow of that thickness keeps your spine straight. And if there is another gap between the head and the hips, another orthopedic pillow of lesser thickness may be needed to fill that gap.

Is your Spine Aligned When Sleeping in Bed?

First, to answer this question, lay down near the edge of the bed in your favorite sleeping position or positions. Next measure the following distances.

For Back and Stomach Sleepers

  1. 1
    First, from the middle of the knee joint to the floor
  2. 2
    Next, from the middle of the hip joint to the floor
  3. 3
    Next, from the middle of the shoulders to the floor
  4. 4
    Finally, from the ears to the floor

For Side Sleepers

  1. 1
    First, from where the knees meet to the floor
  2. 2
    Next, from the crotch to the floor
  3. 3
    Next, from the mid-point between the shoulders to the floor
  4. 4
    Finally, from the nose to the floor

Next, plot these points on a graph paper. And, if you don’t see a straight line, use appropriately sized pillows to get a straight line.

Finally, the other option, is to take a picture with you on the bed and draw a line on the picture between the middle of the knee area to the ears or nose. This lets you know where you need orthopedic pillows to align your spine.

Be on the Lookout for these Sleep Loss Symptoms

Be on the Lookout for these Sleep Loss Symptoms

Regrettably, sleeping less than 6 hours or a disturbed sleep where you were awake off and on during the night, has detrimental effects on your body. Therefore, it’s important for you to take recovery action the following day. However, to make that decision, it is useful for you to be able to recognize your sleep loss symptoms.

The Body’s Sleep Loss Symptoms

First and foremost, your body’s signs are listed below.

  1. 1
    First, you may see signs of acne. In fact, sleep loss along with sweat and stress triggers acne.
  2. 2
    Also, you may get a headache.
  3. 3
    Or, you may have puffy eyes & dark circles. Indeed, a study of 200 women with puffy eyes & dark circles, reported 40 percent were sleep deprived.
  4. 4
    Next, you may see weight gain. In fact, sleep loss imbalances your hormones causing you to feel hungry. In addition, your body becomes less sensitive to insulin causing your blood sugar to rise.
  5. 5
    Or, everything hurts. Indeed, sleep loss increases inflammation in the body, which in turn increases pain.
  6. 6
    And you may feel like you have a cold.
  7. 7
    Lastly, you may feel fatigued.

Cognitive

Next, your cognitive related sleep loss symptoms are listed below:

  1. 1
    First, you have reduced alertness.
  2. 2
    Or, shortened attention span.
  3. 3
    Or, reduced awareness of the environment and situation.
  4. 4
    Also, you can’t concentrate.
  5. 5
    Or, your decision-making skills are suffering.
  6. 6
    Or, you may feel disoriented.
  7. 7
    On the other hand, you may act impulsively. Indeed, you need a certain type of energy to make good decisions. And sleep loss drains energy, thereby resulting in poor impulsive decisions.
  8. 8
    And you may show poor judgement.
  9. 9
    Also, studies show you may have difficulty reading emotions in other people. As a result, you may not be able to react to threatening situations.
  10. 10
    Next you may suffer from the sleep loss symptom of low motivation.
  11. 11
    And poor memory. In fact, procedural memory, used in learning new tasks, is associated with REM sleep. And declarative memory, used to recall an event or fact, is associated with non-REM sleep. As a result, sleep loss that affects REM and non-REM sleep, seriously interferes with your memory.
  12. 12
    Also, you may make a mistake by forgetting to do something.
  13. 13
    Or you may do something, but choose the wrong option.
  14. 14
    Next, you may fixate yourself on one thought
  15. 15
    Too, you may have difficulty learning new concepts.
  16. 16
    Also, you may suffer from blurred vision or vision problems. Moreover, sleep loss can harm your visual working memory. Indeed, this is your brain’s ability to store pieces of visual information while at the same time filter out what you don’t need.
  17. 17
    Regrettably, you may become forgetful.
  18. 18
    Or you may display impaired motor skills.
  19. 19
    Or you may become clumsy or get butterfingers. In fact, sleep loss makes it hard to keep your fine motor skills in tune.
  20. 20
    Finally, you may show slower than normal reaction time

Food

Next, your food related sleep loss symptoms are listed below.

  1. 1
    First, you may see an increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings.
  2. 2
    Second, you may crave for salt, sugar, or junk food.
  3. 3
    Finally, you may sip more caffeine.

Sleep

Also, your sleep related symptoms are listed below.

  1. 1
    First, you may sleep through alarms.
  2. 2
    Or you may go back to sleep.
  3. 3
    Or you may groggy when waking in the morning.
  4. 4
    Also, you may, unintentionally, fall asleep.
  5. 5
    Or you may show a tendency to doze off when not active for a while; for example, when watching television.
  6. 6
    Or you may feel sleepy or  groggy all day long.
  7. 7
    Regrettably, you may start nodding off while driving. In fact, an estimated 5,000 people died in 2015 in crashes involving drowsy driving, according to a Governors Highway Safety Association report. In addition, according to the American Sleep Foundation, about half of U.S. adult drivers admit to consistently getting behind the wheel while feeling drowsy. And, about 20% admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point in the past year.
  8. 8
    Finally, you may be yawning frequently.

Mood

And, your mood related sleep loss symptoms are listed below.

  1. 1
    First you may be in a depressed mood.
  2. 2
    Or, you may suffer from moodiness.
  3. 3
    Or, you may be feeling down.
  4. 4
    Regrettably, you may become irritable.
  5. 5
    Finally, you may display a bad temper.

Other Sleep Loss Symptoms

Finally, the other signs of sleep loss.

  1. 1
    First, you may experience a reduced sex drive. In fact, REM sleep helps produce testosterone. So, REM sleep shorted by sleep loss, decreases testosterone levels, which, in turn, reduces your sex drive.
  2. 2
    Or feel stressed.
  3. 3
    Also, you may become cranky.
  4. 4
    Too, you may suffer from paranoia.
  5. 5
    Or, hallucinations.
  6. 6
    Finally, your work efficiency suffers.

Benefits of Sleeping with a Wedge Pillow

Sleeping with a wedge pillow, using therapy wedge pillows, is great for receiving sufficient rest and recovering. These specific kinds of pillows are utilized in homes, medical clinics and nursing homes to assist people with different health complications such as back pain, sleep apnea and many others. With the world turning out to be more wellbeing conscious in recent times numerous items that were restrictive to clinical practices and establishments are getting all the more broadly accessible for the open customer. Nowadays you can easily buy your wedge pillow for your bed to provide you with the various advantages that accompany it.

In contrast to a typical pillow, wedge pillows are made to last and give much comfort as expected. Wedge pillows specifically don't level and spread the all-encompassing zone at the head of your bed. With the increase in elevation, solace and size you are guaranteed of a decent evenings sleep for a considerable length of time to come.

The Benefits of Wedge Pillows

While a few people appreciate the feel of wedge pillows, a good number of sleepers usually end up buying one for a particular well being reason. Most ordinarily, it's utilized to improve or dispose of health problems identified with:

Snoring and sleep apnea

When you sleep horizontally in your bed, the force of gravity works against the respiratory system and this can alter your airway. In certain individuals, this prompts interference of usual sleeping pattern (rest apnea). A wedged pillow smoothly repositions the body and disposes of these interferences.

Cough and post-nasal drip

Brought about by mucus trickling down the rear of the throat and into the airways, post-nasal drip can bring issues both during rest and when waking. For some, this prompts a constant cough that appears like not disappearing. Sleeping on a wedged pillow gives enough elevation to the chest area, which keeps mucus from assembling at the rear of the throat. At last, this diminishes irritation and inflammation, resulting in good overall health.

Back pain

In individuals with particular types of back pain, a wedged pillow can give enough slope to stack the vertebrae and hips in the right spinal arrangement. Normally individuals with upper back issues benefit most from a wedge pillow than those with pain in their lower back.

Nighttime asthma

For those experiencing asthma during the night, a wedge pillow retaliates against the unfavourable impacts of gravity and stops blood from pooling in the lungs (which might be one of the reasons for breathing issues).

Post-operative care

Specialists frequently suggest therapy wedge pillows in people who have recently undergone surgery. Dependent upon where it is put, it can relieve pain and swelling in sensitive joints. A few people even discover two wedge pillows helpful – one for the upper body and another for knees.

Help relieve heart burns

The entire explanation behind heartburns is that acid travels back up to the upper body into the throat, making things very not comfortable in your throat area and upper chest. This cannot be possible if you are dozing at a raised edge.

Hiatal hernia

A bed with a wedged pillow is likewise incredible for individuals experiencing a hiatal hernia. As you most likely are aware, the outside of a level bed or a supportive sleeping pad can be very painful in case you experience a condition like this one.

Sleeping in an elevated position assists a lot with this, it eases or even eliminates pain at all. Have a go at getting a pillow of this sort for your bed and you'll likely rest a lot simpler around evening time.

These are only the most widely recognized advantages of a wedge pillow. Converse with various customers who have used a wedge pillow and you will realize that each his/her own unique needs and preferences. It's this flexibility that makes it so famous.

FAQs

Is it good to sleep with a wedge pillow?

Side sleepers who utilize a wedged cushion to rest at a slope will likewise discover help for medical problems like rest apnea and heartburn. Besides, utilizing a wedged pillow for side rest will offer more noteworthy help to your neck and shoulders, permitting your body to fall into the ideal nonpartisan position.

Are wedge pillows bad for you?

When sleeping on a flat position, stomach acids may get up to the throat and mouth. The acids can cause a respiratory failure that is enormously unsafe. Nowadays, specialists recommend individuals use wedged pillows. These items keep your head somewhat higher than the rest of the body.

Is a wedge pillow good for neck pain?

Sleeping with a wedged pad under your head can help diminish neck pain while hoisting your legs with the wedge pad can offer back help and help lessen pressure on your lower back.

Should shoulders be on pillow when sleeping?

In case you are a back sleeper, you should push your pad down close to your shoulders not lay your shoulders on the cushion. Your head ought to be level when it's on the pad. Your ears ought to be in an equal line with your shoulders. The pad ought not to be thick to such an extent that your chin is tucked into your chest.

Conclusion

In case you are experiencing one of the various physical conditions, a wedge pillow may truly profit you. Getting sufficient rest is one of the most significant things in this world, thus numerous individuals experience the ill effects of wounds and sicknesses that make it very hard to rest. A wedge pillow will help with these conditions, by permitting the body to rest in a slanted and raised position. The purposes behind considering one are many, and the utilization of a bed wedge is generally helpful for individuals experiencing different wellbeing conditions.

A Keto Intermittent Fasting Tip for Energy & Sleep

A Keto Intermittent Fasting Tip for Energy & Sleep

Description: Special dietary plans like the keto diet or intermittent fasting are gaining increased popularity. There are a lot of discussions about the health benefits of these diet plans. However, what is often not thoroughly discussed is how does the keto intermittent fasting affect sleep!

Some people say that a keto intermittent fasting should be exceptionally beneficial for sleep. Meanwhile, others claim that they experienced insomnia while being on a keto diet. So, where is the truth?

When looking at the keto intermittent fasting results, you will observe that in the long run, both of these dietary plans significantly improve sleep quality. However, you will also notice that they can disturb sleep shortly after you use it for the first time.

We are going to take a look now at what is going on when you start with the keto intermittent fasting. Also, we will look at what you can do to improve your sleep.

Sleep and the Keto Intermittent Fasting

So, once you start with the keto intermittent fasting diet, your body goes through different processes, and ketosis is crucial among them. But this keto-adaptation intermittent fasting can be quite a shock for the body when you are just starting. In fact, it can lead to something called keto flu and insomnia.

The main problem lies in the fact that the body isn't receiving carbs that are responsible for the supply of amino acid L-tryptophan in the brain. By the way, L-tryptophan is linked with the release of serotonin. This is an issue because serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to a better quality of sleep. Lack of carbohydrates subsequently means that you might have trouble sleeping during the first stages of an intermittent fasting keto schedule.

As we said, the longer you are following these dietary plans, the more your sleep will improve. But in the meantime, it is good to know some tips for better sleep that can help you speed up the process and allow you to sleep better and longer from the start. For example, a clean surrounding is important for better sleep. So, if you are too busy to tidy up yourself, there are plenty of cleaning services that can help you. Meanwhile, other useful tips are described below.

Tips for Better Sleep

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking enough water with the best exogenous ketones during the keto intermittent fasting can help curb food cravings, sharpen mental focus, and increase energy levels. Now, if drinking enough plain water doesn't appeal to you, try carbonating it.  However, if you go to bed thirsty, there is a high chance that you will be restless and have trouble falling asleep. It also increases the possibility of snoring due to a dry mouth or nose. Therefore, be well-hydrated before going to bed to make sure you will sleep better and longer.

Eat Healthily

It may sound like we are asking to impose another kind of restriction besides the keto intermittent fasting. But in reality, we aren't – the only thing is that to make sure you enjoy a quality sound sleep during the night, you must consume the ingredients that are beneficial for your body. Try to eat as many whole foods, plenty of vegetables or freshly prepared vegetable juices, and so on.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is relatively simple. You just need to breathe deeply and slowly while being focused on the breathing or do meditation that involves simple moves. It, however, helps a lot when you are figuring out how to do intermittent fasting on a keto. It also helps you sleep more soundly.

Conclusion

As you see, the keto intermittent fasting diet can be super beneficial for sleep quality. Of course, at the beginning, you might run into some difficulties, but here we discussed some ways to overcome them effortlessly. Do you have some tips on how to improve sleep quality?

Guest Author Bio: My name is Adam Reeve and I have been a professional personal trainer and fitness instructor for over 10 years. Also, I’m a life coach, wellness writer, and low carb diets, enthusiast. I can be reached at  <adamreevers@gmail.com

This infographic was created by Factor, a keto meal delivery service